Staying at home with my daughter has been challenging beyond beief. We as men are designed to be providers for our families since the beginning of time but what happens when the roles replace due to circumstances? What happens when the parents play a position that they aren’t created for?
Tension, arguing and even resentment can build within what was once a fairy tail union. What do you say to someone asks you “What do you do for a living”? Silence!!! Then you automatically blurt out the lyrics to the Chica morning show that you watch with your baby! How do you even plan your day with trying to be productive? See there is no hand book for this, only life experience! so to the new fathers dealing with these unforeseen situations I’m here to share with you my current experiences and what currently works for me. Lets touch briefly on somethings that your going to deal with that nobody is going to share with you in the NICU once you get your little one home after they past that 90 min carseat test. Thats right I said it!! 90 minutes!!
One of the biggest things that your going to deal with in being a graduate of the NICU and being home is time management, how to reach your financial obligations and how to keep your head on straight. When it comes to time management the best thing that you can do is develop a schedule that you can abide by on a daily and monthly bases depending on the condition of your preemie. Be sure to include exercise, a proper diet, time to work if your self employed, or time to brainstorm so you can come up with ideas to generate some income to the household, time for yourself will be all so important and don’t forget date night! That damn date night is the reason you got in this in the first place. So in all honesty there won’t be any conjugal dating in the near future. So you been warned!!
Here are some tips that will help you keep sane through out this process and if you have any questions about how to get through certain things feel free to contact me and I will give you my suggestions and tell you how I handled them accordingly.
#1 SLEEP WHEN THEY SLEEP– It speak for its self! Don’t try to handle things when your preemie is resting. It will only frustrate you when they wake up and you can’t get back to do what you were doing!
#2 EXERCISE AT LEAST 45 MIN DAILY– Combined with a healthy diet this will help you in the long run. Theres nothing like gaining 30 lbs in 3months because your home with the baby and your eating when they eat. Then the cycle starts. Depression creaps in slowing followed by the thoughts of where did my life go and then you start eating more to ease the pain.. Been there done that!!
#3 EAT HEALTHY– The food that you eat will affect your decision making and your agility! Your mind will play tricks on you if you keep putting junk in your body. Trust me depression is real. Been there and done that
#4 MAKE MONEY– Find ways to make money at home using your computer. There are websites out there that will help you sale things that you don’t need anymore such as Ebay and Pintrest. There also websites that allow you to sell things that you have created such as Etsy
#5 JOIN SUPPORT GROUPS– I speak to men on a monthly basis at the Dads and Diapers support group for the March of Dimes of Delaware and its refreshing to the men to see that there are other men going through the same thing.
#6 SHARE YOUR STORY– Be sure to share as much as you can but stay away from being negative. Speak about the happy moments, the love you have for your little one, the time when you first say that amazing face.
#7 TIME FOR YOURSELF– You and your lady both will need that extra time away from everything. Understand that it’s normal to want to get away! Take the necessary time that you need to do what you enjoy. But keep in mind that you will have to go back home at some point. Call a buddy and just hangout or go and become one with nature. Hey, whatever your into, do it! Time away is very important and not to be missed.
Hopefully this message in a bottle reached you and now your plugging away at making some positive strides in creating everything that you need to have your days planned out ahead for you and your little miracle. Enjoy and remember that you will always be their superman!